UK Space Agency

UK SBS IT17366 UK Space Agency Digital Licensing Service

Incomplete applications

10
Incomplete applications
7 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

24
Completed applications
21 SME, 3 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Friday 18 August 2017
Deadline for asking questions Friday 25 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Friday 1 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Driven by UK Government’s commitment to space industry growth, the UK must be ready to license space launches from 2020. The UK Space Agency will need a digital service to be developed for operators to apply and be granted licences for UK space activities via a simple-to-use web portal.
Latest start date Monday 16 October 2017
Expected contract length Discovery phase - 2 months
Location South West England
Organisation the work is for UK Space Agency
Budget range Discovery phase - up to £53,000

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The digital licensing service will support operators applying for licences under the Space Industry Bill and Outer Space Act. The Space Industry Bill is going through Parliament in this session and is expected to be laid in early 2018. The licensing service needs to be at a public beta phase ready for the first spaceport and launch operators in June 2018.
Problem to be solved The UK Space Agency will be the regulator for these activities (together with support from the Civil Aviation Authority and Health & Safety Executive) and will grant licences to spaceport and launch operators. Space industry operators need a straightforward “single front door” into UK government regulators; the UKSA wishes to manage licensing via a Government Digital Service.
A joined-up approach to licensing and regulation is important for operators and will make the UK a less bureaucratic and more attractive place for conducting launches and spaceflight activities than other launching nations.
Who the users are and what they need to do As a Spaceport Operator, I need a licence to operate, so that I provide safe and regulated launch facilities for launch operators.

As a Range Control Services Provider, I need a licence to operate, so that I provide a regulated zone of exclusion for safe launches from UK ranges.

As a Launch Vehicle Operator, I need a licence to launch a spacecraft, so that I undertake safe and successful missions from the UK.

As a Regulator, I need to record, oversee and assess applications from operators, so that I can grant licences for UK spaceflight activities in accordance with legislation.
Early market engagement No market engagement has been undertaken yet.
Any work that’s already been done Work is in pre-discovery phase only.
Existing team The UK Space Agency team will include a technical architect, service manager and part time support from the regulatory reform and policy team. Subject matter experts will be available from the UK Space Agency, HSE and Civil Aviation Authority.
Current phase Not started

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place UK Space Agency, Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon and occasionally at the Dept. for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Victoria Street, London
Working arrangements Weekly (1 day) face to face meetings onsite in Swindon or London during Discovery Phase.
Attendance at several industry engagement events and workshops scheduled over the Discovery phase to undertake user research. These events will be typically one or two day duration.
Remote working/teleconferencing where possible.
Security clearance BC and Disclosure Scotland required.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Demonstrate how you will apply your skills and expertise to... (Please leave this box blank)
  • simplify complex (but well understood) business work-flows into designs for a simple-to-use web based interface and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. (8%)
  • undertake user research with a niche group of technical experts from the space industry and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. (6%)
  • migrate your development environments on to a production environment hosted by a third party cloud provider and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. (3%)
  • create web-based dashboard designs that are clear and uncomplicated and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. (6%)
  • reduce any training burden for users and managers of the digital licensing service and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. (5%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate how you will apply your skills and expertise to... (Please leave this box blank)
  • work at pace and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. (3%)
  • work with similar technology and innovation-based government departments to provide digital services and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. (1%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 6
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution (4%)
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs (8%)
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation’s policy or goal (8%)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work (3%)
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (3%)
  • Team structure (2%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how you will collaborate with the UK Space Agency to prioritise user needs based on research in the Discovery phase (5%)
  • Demonstrate how you will demonstrate designs to the UK Space Agency that address specific user stories based on research (10%)
  • Demonstrate how you will provide updates on risks to the project and report on progress of work to the UK Space Agency (5%)
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. The advertised phase is Discovery but scoring is clearly against migrating development environments and training, not typically Discovery activities. Can you elaborate on whether this is truly Discovery? SME's specialising in Discovery may feel excluded. To confirm that the requirement is for the Discovery phase. The scoring will reflect the suppliers’ application of skills and expertise in conducting user research activities and creating user stories that can be taken forward to alpha. There is no specific requirement to migrate development environments or undertake training in this discovery phase.
2. With respect to "undertake user research with a niche group of technical experts from the space industry" would you accept experience performing user research with a niche group of experts that are not space boffins? We do not expect the supplier to be a subject matter expert in space activity. The ability to perform user research with experts in other fields would demonstrate applicable and relevant expertise.
3. Are you in a position to name your "third party cloud provider" that a service would need migrating to? Each provider requires different skills and levels of effort. The third party cloud provider has not yet been chosen. It is expected that one of the outputs of the Discovery phase will be a decision on the most appropriate platform for hosting the service, and its ease of integration with the proposed user services generated during the discovery phase. It is expected that the cloud platform and provider will be assured for UK government use.
4. Please could you confirm of this is inside or outside IR35? This is unable to be determined at this time as it is possible for contractors who are both in and out of scope of the off payroll working rules to be engaged through DOS. The successful supplier / contracting authority will need to check the status in accordance with the HMRC online tool prior to contract commencement. A link to this tool can be found here: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/check-employment-status-for-tax/setup
5. Re the following nice-to-have skills and experience - work at pace and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. (3%) work with similar technology and innovation-based government departments to provide digital services and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. (1%) In these questions does "project" refer to the Discovery Phase only or the fully delivery of the new service? “Project” refers to the Discovery phase in this instance, although it is expected that these skills and experience will also be nice to have for subsequent alpha and beta phases.
6. Is there an incumbent supplier and if yes, are they taking part in this exercise? No, there is no incumbent supplier. This is a new government digital service.
7. Has any user research been undertaken so far? There has been user research undertaken by the UK Space Agency over the past few months. This has mostly been limited to understanding the needs of the government regulatory community to comply with the Space Industry Bill. There has not yet been any formal user research with space industry operators, although industrial engagement with government on space activities has taken place.
8. How did UKSA establish/identify the high-level user needs stated? The high level user needs have been derived from:
- analysis of other launching nations’ processes,
- reviews with the other government regulators involved with similar aerospace, aviation, export and safety licensing processes,
- detailed surveys and analyses of good practice, guidance and standards from across the wide range of industries related to aerospace and space activity.
9. Has a third party cloud provider already been selected or considered for the production environment of this service, if so which one/s? A third party cloud provider has not yet been chosen. It is expected that one of the outputs of the Discovery phase will be a decision on the most appropriate platform for hosting the production environment of the service, and its ease of integration with the proposed user services generated during the discovery phase. It is expected that the cloud platform and provider will be assured for UK government use.
10. Does security clearance need to be in place before we apply for the project, or can we apply for it concurrently with the project application? A security clearance does not need to be in place before application. The supplier will be required to apply for a basic security check and Disclosure Scotland check for any employees that will be working on the program.
11. You require "BC and Disclosure Scotland" security clearance. Is this correct you want Disclosure Scotland for this project? Would you want all people workers to have these, or just the lead strategist? We require all personnel working on the project to undergo a basic security check and to have undergone a Disclosure Scotland check.
12. You require as a skill to "Demonstrate how you will apply your skills and expertise to migrate your development environments on to a production environment hosted by a third party cloud provider and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project". The migration would be something which would be done during the development phase of a GDS alined project, not in a user research Discovery phase. Please could you clarify? The third party cloud provider has not yet been chosen. It is expected that one of the outputs of the Discovery phase will be a decision on the most appropriate platform for hosting the service, and its ease of integration with the proposed user services generated during the discovery phase. It is expected that the cloud platform and provider will be assured for UK government use.
13. You require a skill of "Demonstrate how you will apply your skills and expertise to create web-based dashboard designs that are clear and uncomplicated and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project." In a discovery phase any designs would only be prototypes, which could then be taken into development. In a response to this question, are you happy for us to show our skills in creating prototypes? Yes, evidence of skills in creating prototypes would demonstrate relevant skills and expertise. The prototypes and designs generated in the Discovery phase will be used to inform the procurement of the subsequent alpha and beta phases of the service.
14. You require a skill to "Demonstrate how you will apply your skills and expertise to reduce any training burden for users and managers of the digital licensing service and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project." In a discovery phase we would be able to make recommendations on how to reduce any training burden. This would only be put into practice during the development phase. Are you happy for a response to this to be more along those lines? The Discovery phase is expected to generate requirements and recommendations on how to reduce any training burden associated with the service, therefore how you would be able to deliver this would be relevant to include in your response.
15. Do you have easy access to these users to take park in user research? Yes. There are a number of volunteers from the user community who have expressed interest in participating in user research already. There are also a series of planned events in the near future whereby calls for users to participate in the user research will be made.
16. Are there any pre-discovery outputs? If so, can you share them? There are several pre-discovery products which have been generated by the regulatory bodies over the past 12 months which will be shared with the selected supplier during the Discovery phase. Examples of some of the products can be made available to shortlisted suppliers. However, the Discovery phase is expected to influence these models, and we expect the user research to generate more information on how the licensing process will be developed into a digital service.
17. What role and activities to you foresee the technical architect taking in the project? One of the desired outputs of the Discovery phase will be a high level architecture of the systems and their interdependencies that will be needed to develop and test the digital service. This would include, but not be limited to, items such as a model of the major functional components of the service, an information assurance model and prototypes of user interfaces. We would expect a technical architect to be instrumental in creating these models during the Discovery phase.
18. Is the budget xVAT? Yes
19. Can you supply the 'complex (but well understood) business work-flows' for the three types of license, eg on shortlisting? All of the products that have been developed during pre-discovery will be made available to the supplier during the Discovery phase. Examples of some of the specific products, such as the business workflows, can be made available to shortlisted suppliers. However, the Discovery phase is expected to influence these models, and we expect the user research to generate more information on how the licensing process will be developed into a digital service.
20. Will you be able to provide, or at least help recruit research participants from the 'niche group of technical experts from the space industry'? Yes. There will be active engagement with the user community. There are a number of events in which calls for volunteers to support user research are taking place in the near future. We do not expect the supplier to provide users nor have subject matter expertise in the space industry.
21. Who have you selected as the third party cloud provider? The third party cloud provider has not yet been chosen. It is expected that one of the outputs of the Discovery phase will be a decision on the most appropriate platform for hosting the service, and its ease of integration with the proposed user services generated during the discovery phase. It is expected that the cloud platform and provider will be assured for UK government use.
22. You wish to 'manage licensing via a Government Digital Service.' Do you simply mean crate an online only service - to the same principals of user research-driven design as GOV.Uk or do you additionally mean deliver the licensing service as an element of GOV.Uk, with the same look-and-feel and design patterns as used by the Government Digital Service? Yes to both of these questions. We expect the digital licensing service to abide by the GDS service principles such as user-centred design, and adopt design patterns that are consistent with the look-and-feel of GOV.UK. The service will be online and include provisions for assisted digital users in accordance with the GDS design standards.
23. You say: Demonstrate how you *will* apply your skills and expertise to... (Please leave this box blank) work with similar technology and innovation-based government departments to provide digital services and how this will ensure the successful delivery of this project. Do you mean demonstrate how you *have* worked with similar technology...? We would welcome any evidence of supplier’s relevant expertise and skills in developing government digital services, particularly where similar design patterns and technologies have been used.
24. Are you looking for a coded prototype that will then be taken forward in an alpha phase? This depends on the outcome of the user research during Discovery. A coded prototype may be possible, however we are focussing primarily on generating user stories and wireframe mock-ups in this phase. These will allow us to generate a more detailed requirement for the subsequent alpha and beta phases where we would expect coded prototypes to be developed.
25. Are the 'web-based dashboard designs' for use by the Regulator/yourselves, to help fulfil the user story you outlined? Yes, there will be a need for the regulator, as a user of the service, to interact with the service using interfaces that are prototyped during the Discovery phase. The outcome of the user research will indicate the best look-and-feel of the user interface, and these could be dashboards for example.